Protocol Nr. 1001

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Name: L. F.
Gender: female
Date of birth: 1924
Place of residence: Alsóapsa
Occupation: student
Camps: Auschwitz, Merklenberg, Dresden

The person in question has given us the following information: We arrived at Auschwitz, and were separated from the elderly and the children. Everything was taken away from us and we were led into the baths, where our hair was cut off. Coming out of the baths, I got a shabby dress. They usually did not take away shoes but they did seize mines, and I got a pair of wooden clogs instead. When we were through with this, they took us into block 8 of Camp C. I learnt here that those separated from us were burnt in the crematorium. Unfortunately, this is what happened to my poor parents as well. On the first day of our arrival we had nothing to eat. Next day we got ca. 200 grams of bread, a little coffee and half a litre of soup as our daily rations. We slept on bunks. They put 14 people on a bunk, so we were jammed like herrings. 14 people got one ragged blanket. It often happened that the upper bunks collapsed, and injured those lying below. We stayed for about a month in this block and did not work at all. From here we were transferred into block B/2, where everybody was assigned to work. I was assigned to the kitchen. It was very hard to work here. Those on kitchen duty had to get up at half past one in the night and work until eleven in the evening the next day. There were frequent selections, in which the sick, the weak or the scabby were separated and taken to crematorium. While I worked in the kitchen Dr Mengele appeared twice and took blood from me. Naturally, I was very much scared because I thought I was also going to get into crematorium like the others. Since I worked in nightshifts in the kitchen, I always saw the huge fires coming from the crematorium. Those men who were already very tired of work were locked up in a separate block – sometimes we managed to throw in a little bread or cabbage for them – and we saw when at night men from that separate block were put onto cars and taken to the crematorium. They cried a lot on these occasions, because the poor ones knew that they had been sent to death. I also saw when Dr Mengele was once selecting the 12-16-year-old children in the children’s block and sent them to the gas chamber, too. It happened once that one or the other child tried to escape when they had to stay lined up, and I managed to save two children taking them into another block and hiding them while selections lasted. I tried to help other people as much as I could. We had a very wicked Lagerführer, who would punish people standing improperly at roll call making them kneel with raised arms and keep a heavy stone in the hands and run. If the person could not run fast enough in this position they would also hit her from behind. If the stone in their hands was not big enough they would hit them as well. Once, we were called from the kitchen to the hospital to help carry dead bodies away. The poor ones were lying out there in the mud. We were called to do this job because they claimed we were strong enough to carry the corpses. I could hardly do this work, but unfortunately I had to. From here we got into a transport again and were taken to Merklenburg. Here we worked in an aircraft factory 12 hours a day in two groups, so that work was continuous day and night. After we arrived, we went to have a bath and everybody got a clean dress. In addition, everybody got a plate, a spoon and two blankets for their own use. Everybody could sleep on their own bunks, moreover, they did not even allow us to sleep together, although it would have been good, because we were very cold. There were 12 of us in a block and they gave us 6 pieces of coal for heating a day. Once, when lighting up the fire, I started feeling so sick because of the smoke that I got into the hospital, where I spent 3 days. Afterwards, I had to go back to work. Our daily rations was 250 grams of bread and soup. Later the portion of bread went down to 200 grams. For a week we also received some margarine, and on Saturday they gave us one spoonful of jam, one spoonful of sugar and a small piece of salami. Once, I overslept the reveille. The Oberscharführer came in, recorded my number, and when we came back in the morning, I had to report to him, and he punished me by making me stand for 6 hours outside in the cold. When the 6 hours were over, he sent me in to sleep, but I was so cold that I was not able to fall asleep. At 4 am we had to get up again, so I did not sleep at all. There were very frequent air raids, when we stayed in the bunkers. It happened that during such an air raid we were in the bunkers day and night, and sleeping was out of the question. During one such air raid our block was hit, and when we came up from the bunker the block was completely destroyed. Then we were placed into another block. The frontline was fast approaching us, and during one roll call the Oberscharführer told us that he had to leave, but we would be taken over by the factory “Junkers Fabrik“ (that was the name of the factory), where we would work, and that we would have a good time there, we would not be prisoners any more, we would be just like any other people. Then came an order – which was communicated to the Oberscharführer through telephone – that we also had to be taken away from here. We left at 9, walked the whole night and the next day, we were given nothing to eat, we slept outside in the rain and cold. Air raids were so heavy that some of the girls lost their teeth as a result. At 4 am we continued, and at noon we walked into a forest where we picked some leaves, and made soup out of them. After two hours of rest we carried on because the frontline was close. When we were so hungry that we could hardly manage we tried to steal. On one such occasion the Oberscharführer shot at one of the girls, who died immediately, and another one was shot in the hand. This was their punishment for stealing. When we set off, we were 1,670, but many died on the way, partly because they could not walk any more, partly because of starvation. I was marching with my friend for 10 days in this transport, when we could not stand it any more and escaped. We got to Dresden. We lived there for three months as German refugees, we lived in a bunker, sometimes hid in the woods, and two weeks before the liberation the police found us and took us to a camp. There we reported as Czechs. We were assigned to work, to dig trenches. We were working out there even on the day when we were liberated. Later, however, our employer did not show up. A man told us to wait, because he may turn up later, but in the meantime the frontline was so close that we were afraid we would be hit by a bomb. So we went back to the camp. Two hours later Russians came and we were liberated.
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